Visual Representation of C4 and Master Cam Range Overlap


Original Post
Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

A lot of people talk about the range over-lap between C4's and Master Cams, saying the MC's are good "tweener" sizes. Having purchased some of both, I decided to actually graph it out visually to understand the overlap.

A couple things struck me after I did this:

1)Up to the Red MC there's a pretty good stair step in the ranges/median rage, except maybe the #0.3 Blue C4.

2) The 0.75 Green (oops, I mean Sage) C4 and the #5 Black MC are basically a direct overlap. you're probably better off with doubles in the 0.75 C4 due to the better range

3) Same goes for the #1 Red (sorry, Cinnamon) C4 and the #6 Green MC.

4) Similar for the #2 Yellow (er..Gold) C4 and the #7 Blue MC, although it's possible it might fill a gap between these two.

5) The #8 Purple MC looks like a great tweener for the #2 and #3 C4's

Anyone's experience corroborate this, or go counter to what the paper says? It the Black MC still valuable over the 0.75 C4?

Chart shows the range coordinated by color. The black line (white on the black MC) shows the median published range.

Edit: Chart removed. See below for update.

Robert Karl · · Pasadena, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 68

Are these advertised or measured range? The black diamond advertised crack ranges seem to include placements that have the lobes WAY tipped out, when I last measured.

Alexander K · · The road · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 45

It looks like this is the published range, based on my rack, the small BD sizes don't have twice the usable range of the metolius equivalent. Here's a chart with the "usable range" (5%-60%) off an old post


Credit:rocknice2

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/usable-cam-range/107820096

I think the main takeaway is that the #7 blue Metolius has no benefit over the gold Camalot, this has also been my observation while climbing.

Craig Childre · · Lubbock, Texas · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 4,945

... I'll just address the question of the .75 C4 vs. #5 MC.....

- full disclosure - #.75 is my favorite cam!

While the C4 offers a slight advantage in range... I think the Metolius solution is superior. While I get greater range out of each individual cam from BD (#0.4 – #3)... a comparable set of Master Cams (#2 – #8), needing an additional cam to cover the range, weighs 240 grams less than the standard BD C4. Ultralight C4's will match the Master Cams light weight, but cost $140 more for the set. This set in standard C4's retails for about $15 less than the Master Cams.

For me, I'd would rather have an extra cam to place instead of the extra range of the BD's. Ultralight BD's are slightly out of my price range.

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60

This:



"Anyone's experience corroborate this, or go counter to what the paper says? It the Black MC still valuable over the 0.75 C4? "

My experience is that OP's "published ranges" are not the same as actual useful range in splitters. I have found black MC and red helium friend are really helpful between green and red camalots in the right size splitters.

Green MC not so much, too close to #1 camalot.

Also:

#3 purple helium is marginally helpful between C4 #2 and 3

#4 friend and old 3.5 camalot are excellent between #3 and 4 C4

Just my $.02

SThal · · Logan, UT · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 65

There seems to be a gap between bd 2 and 3 but the purple metolious seems to have a range within bd 3. I only have powercams, and placing the bigger ones at all tight is difficult/they tend to get stuck. So the purple doesn't seem to fill the gap.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Robert Karl wrote:Are these advertised or measured range? The black diamond advertised crack ranges seem to include placements that have the lobes WAY tipped out, when I last measured.
These are advertised ranges from both Metolius and BD web sites. I'm aware of the concerns about reported range, which is why I show the 50% range line, as a base line comparison.

Alexander K wrote:It looks like this is the published range, based on my rack, the small BD sizes don't have twice the usable range of the metolius equivalent. Here's a chart with the "usable range" (5%-60%) off an old post Credit:rocknice2 mountainproject.com/v/usabl... I think the main takeaway is that the #7 blue Metolius has no benefit over the gold Camalot, this has also been my observation while climbing.
Thanks for your input.

For my own analysis of the chart I was fairly mis-trustful of the top end of the range for both cam's.

The main reason I speculate the #7 may have some use is because it's 50% range point is lower than the #2. However since the #2's total range does go lower, that may be a moot point. Thanks for reporting your experience.

SThal wrote:There seems to be a gap between bd 2 and 3 but the purple metolious seems to have a range within bd 3. I only have powercams, and placing the bigger ones at all tight is difficult/they tend to get stuck. So the purple doesn't seem to fill the gap.
My thought is because the mid point in the range is lower, it may fit where a #3 may be close to over cammed.

I'm going to contact BD and Metolius and see if they'll disclose how much retraction of the cam corresponds to their reported range.
Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 25

Just a hint. Cam ranges are more or less constant thru the SLCD family (e.g., C3s, or C4s, or TCUs, etc) on logarithmic scale. It makes sense to plot cams ranges diagrams on log scale (not discussing the value of those diagrams). E.g.,

SLCD size chart. Aliens, BD, DMM, WC, Metolius, Totem

mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 550

Pavel,what does he solid bar range represent? That chart would be even better if the brands were mixed so you could easily see where each one lined up with other similar sizes.

The New WC Friends (double axle) made a particular effort to tweak the ranges to address gaps seen in the C4 range, esp between the 2 and 3. Adding these to the list would be interesting

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

So I found where Metolius reports their "useable range" vs their "total range". On average they are reporting the usable range as about 2.5% to 80% of the total range (the 00 being an exception, where it goes from 4.55% to 63.64%). The minimum range goes from 4.55% down to 0.88% based on cam size from smallest to largest (But realistically what this means is they say the difference between the usable min, and the actual min is 0.01" or roughly 0.2-0.3mm). The max doesn't seem to have a nominal correlation, which makes sense.

So I truncated the BD cam's based on these average's, assuming the BD reported range is equivalent to the Metolius "total range".

The chart is below for reference.

The black line is 50% retraction based on total range.

Based on this the #6 and #7 MC are direct overlap to the #1 and #2 BD. The #5 MC does seem a bit more useful.

BD C4 (2.5%-80% Range)
Metolius MC UL (Reported Usable Range - roughly 2.5% to 80% total Reported Range)

mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 60

Your updated chart looks much more representative for the black MC



BTW I keep a red metolius as well. Don't use it as often as the black but it sits well between C4 purple and green.

So this chart is better, essentially the same as Alexanders.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 25
mattm wrote:Pavel,what does he solid bar range represent?
I was trying to show "usable" range, so I marked smthng like 30% to 60% (don't remember the exact values) with solid bars. To make it really useful one needs to check out how "usable" range depends on cam design. Personally I have an idea (have never checked it thoroughly) that single axle cams are better when (almost) overcamed while double axles are better at about 50%. So my hypothesis is usable range should be smthng like 10%-50% for single axles and 20%-70% for double axles. Please notice, it is just a hypothesis. I'm not going to check it out 'cause I think there's no point - just mix as much as possible different SLCD designs in your rack and learn how to place all of them. Trad leading is a sport of skill, not a sport of diagrams. When I was learning to trad lead I was kinda concerned on "gap less" rack and other sorts of stupid shit.
mattm · · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 550
Pavel Burov wrote: I was trying to show "usable" range, so I marked smthng like 30% to 60% (don't remember the exact values) with solid bars. To make it really useful one needs to check out how "usable" range depends on cam design. Personally I have an idea (have never checked it thoroughly) that single axle cams are better when (almost) overcamed while double axles are better at about 50%. So my hypothesis is usable range should be smthng like 10%-50% for single axles and 20%-70% for double axles. Please notice, it is just a hypothesis. I'm not going to check it out 'cause I think there's no point - just mix as much as possible different SLCD designs in your rack and learn how to place all of them. Trad leading is a sport of skill, not a sport of diagrams. When I was learning to trad lead I was kinda concerned on "gap less" rack and other sorts of stupid shit.
Gotcha - I think I agree with you on the doubles having more useable range on the "wide open" end but don't think there's much difference on the fully retracted side.

Agree that the charts are number junky territory. I've enjoyed them however, because they visually corroborate what I've learned or noticed over the years climbing. I learned by feel and then saw "Yep, not crazy" looking at the charts. Metolius has the most "weird gaps" and the #2-#3 C4 is also something I noticed while climbing. Other gaps less so.

Any chance you have the data sheet you used? I'm willing to tweak and add the WC Friends to it.
Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 25
mattm wrote:Any chance you have the data sheet you used? I'm willing to tweak and add the WC Friends to it.
It was/is a handmade (mostly autogenerated from a text file via bash/grep/sed script) .EPS file. Shared it with you via MP's PM. Use it at your own risk :)

P.S. Luckily there are some comments explaining coordinate system. Thus it could be useful.

P.P.S. Hmmm... I was not that lazy and made it more or less supportable. A simple bash/*NIX-text-utils script could resort lines to make it "uniformly monotonic" a la thread starter.
Justin Headley · · Tucson · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 110

Am I crazy, or does the "more round" shape of the Metolius cams allow them to fit in some places better than a C4 does? Especially the #5 and up. Feels like it. I rack one set of BD cams on my right and one set of Metolius cams on my left for most trad climbs, and have been really liking that setup.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 25
Justin Headley wrote:Am I crazy, or does the "more round" shape of the Metolius cams allow them to fit in some places better than a C4 does?
Single axle cams in general fit better into tight placements like pods due to more compact "heads". For the well known price. There is no "the best" design, both have pros and contras (side note: although most SLCD makers sell two axles now days). This is yet another argument to mix different make/model pro in your rack.
Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 748

Having owned Mastercams, WC Helium Friends and C4s, the most significant sizes in between are the purple Helium between #2 and #3 C4, and the yellow MC between .3 and .4 and the orange MC between .4 and .5.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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